Sky Referees

An alert detachment of F-16s from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing will patrol the skies over the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 3 during Super Bowl XLII. “We won’t be as visible to people on the ground during the game on Sunday, but we’ll be up there,” said Lt. Col. Mark Milham, commander of the detachment. The unit is seasoned in flying combat air patrols as part of Operation Noble Eagle, he said. The Vipers, operating out of Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., will fly low over the Phoenix metropolitan area on Feb. 1 to make a visual show of force to deter threats and reassure the public. They will also fly near the Mexican border as a demonstration of capability. During the Super Bowl, an undisclosed number of Vipers will then fly patrols to enforce FAA’s temporary flight restriction over the area. (Davis-Monthan report by Capt. Gabe Johnson)